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Image - The History of Charles Anderson and Charles Anderson Grove, Ballarat

From the Collection of Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc. 16-14 Lydiard (North) Street Ballarat Central Victoria

Black and white photographic portrait of Charles Anderson.
Object Registration
charles anderson, charles anderson grove, ballarat old colonists' club, old colonists' association, ballarat, ballarat mechanics' institute, hassell homes, woah hawp gold mining company, firewood, retirement village
Historical information
Information relating to Charles Anderson and Charles Anderson Grove, Lake Gardens, Ballarat.
The Old Colonists' Association Ballarat Inc. is a not for profit charitable organisation providing accommodation for elderly people. It manages a 27 Home retirement village at Charles Anderson Grove, Ballarat. Accommodation is offered at significantly below market rates. It has been providing low cost accommodation to the elderly since the 1920s. The Association Council overseas the running of this facility on a voluntary basis.

One of the original objectives of the Association was “to provide the shelter of a house for those Pioneers of the Goldfields whom the reverses of fortune have deprived of the means of procuring the comforts of life in their declining years.” While the first home at Charles Anderson Grove was built in 1925 the Association had previously provided relief for needy pioneers from the time it was formed in 1883. Relief included monthly monetary payments, loads of firewood, medical assistance and distribution of Christmas boxes of groceries to deserving pensioners and in some cases payment of burial costs. Records indicate that in September 1922 three of the pensioners being assisted by the Association were accepted as residents in the newly erected Hassell Homes in Gillies Street (now demolished-opposite the High School).

The first site for an Asylum for Indigent Members of the Old Colonists' Association was temporarily reserved from sale in October 1891. The site was approximately 28 acres in area in Mt Clear nearly opposite Midvale Shopping Centre in Main Road. The site was heavily timbered and when cleared over 260 tons of wood was sold to the Woah Hawp Gold Mining Company. A set of gates were erected but no homes built, although a plan for this reserve was drawn which showed twenty buildings ranging from one to four unit per building. The reserve was revoked in November 1909.

The second site temporarily reserved in November 1909 as an Asylum was in Alfredton and consisted of some 7 acres and was adjacent to land reserved for an Abattoirs for the Ballarat Council. The reserve was revoked in February 1912 as it was deemed more appropriate to be added to the Abattoir site. Council suggested four (4) other sites in exchange for this land and they were inspected by the President, Vice President and Secretary on 22 December 1912.

The first site inspected was land on the west side of Creswick Road opposite the brick kilns (now occupied by the showgrounds and oval). The land was described as being good quality, well fenced, no trees, good drainage and ample acreage but some distance from trams. The second site was Perry Park which was described as being good land, well fenced, having frontage to Gillies Street, good drainage and about 26 acres (but subsequently reduced to 10 acres). It was closely planted with Pinus Insignias and Wattle and had easy access from the Botanic Gardens tram. The third site was the North West portion of Victoria Park (corner of Sturt and Gillies Street) and was described as good land, well fenced and drained and well located. The fourth site was the South West corner of Victoria Park and known as Pound Paddock (corner of Winter Street and Gillies Street). It was considered to be low lying and too close to the Abattoir, and was also a considerable distance from trams.

While the third site was recommended as the most suitable for the erection of homes it was considered unwise from the point of view as citizens to reduce the acreage of the park and therefore it was recommended that the Perry Park site be asked for as the most acceptable to the Association for the building of homes. The site was eventually temporarily reserved for an Asylum for Indigent Members of the Association in April 1914 with the gates from Mt Clear having been removed to the site a year earlier and eventually erected in 1917 for £12.10.0. In the same year the first 290 pine trees were advertised for removal in July and sold for £16. A sign indicating that the site was reserved for the erection of cottages was erected in September 1917. Stripping of the wattle bark (for tanning) and the cutting of the wood occurred in November 1918 with the land then being leased until it was required for the construction of the first homes in 1924.

While the site was the third to be reserved it was the only one which was used for its intended purpose. It was named as Charles Anderson Grove in honour of Charles Anderson who joined the Association in 1918 and was President of the Association from 1942 to 1944.

C.H.G. Anderson (Electoral Returning Officer) was elected to membership of the Old Colonists' Association, Ballarat, in October 1918. He was elected to the Association Committee in 1926, and appointed Treasurer of the Association on the resignation of F. Ellis until the end of the financial year in 1933.

In 1936 Charles Anderson indicated he would not be available for the President's Chair and that he would retire from the Committee owing to pressure of work.
C.H.G. Anderson was welcomed as a new member of the Association in 1938, and served as President of the Old Colonists' Association from 1942-1944.

Midway through 1949 Charles Anderson was appointed Members Secretary and Manager of the Ballarat Old Colonists' Club at £5.0.0 per week and 10/- for entertainment, to commence work prior to 01 August 1949. He was to do 30 hours per week and be present on Friday and generally on Saturday nights.
In 1957 a minute of sympathy was extended to Club Manager Charles Anderson on the loss of his son. In 1958 a bonus of £20.0.0 was paid to Charles Anderson in recognition of his service in assisting the Secretary/Manager taking over under difficult conditions. In March 1964 the Shire of Ballarat would not permit a private road to be named Anderson Grove as Anderson Street already existed in Ballarat but Charles Anderson Grove was deemed acceptable.

A recommendation of the Committee was put to the AGM in 1967 that Charles Anderson be made a Life Member. In 1969 an Association meeting observed a minutes silence in memory of Chas Anderson.

Charles Anderson was also a Committee member of Ballarat Mechanics' Institute from February 1940 to February 1970. He was President in 1948.

Last updated
24 Aug 2019 at 1:35PM